CCAD Stories: Crosley Frankenberry is in it for the long haul

Influencers | What She's Listening To | A Drive to Succeed | A Life in Movies

Chalk it up to passion and fortuitous timing. Crosley Frankenberry had been studying Cinematic Arts at Columbus College of Art & Design, with a minor in art history, when, in her sophomore year, the college introduced a new major: History of Art & Visual Culture.

It was a perfect fit.

“I had taken so many classes that I was over the minor even before I added it,” she recalled. “I just wanted to keep taking more classes and I found myself getting more excited and more into the work that I was doing for those classes. … I’ve been loving it ever since.”

Her path wasn’t always so clear. Frankenberry, who graduated high school in 2012 at age 16, attended other post-secondary schools before she decided to apply to CCAD.

It wasn’t her first introduction to the school; her parents, Kip Frankenberry and Susan Bierlein, both graphic designers, had taken classes here, and the family's frequent trips to the Columbus Museum of Art (right next to us at CCAD) meant CCAD’s Art Sign was a familiar sight.

“Then, I took a claymation class (at CCAD), a summer class when I was 10 or so, and it was an introduction to the campus as a place with classes, rather than just the Art Sign,” she said.

Frankenberry has stayed busy since coming to CCAD. Beginning her freshman year and through the beginning of her junior year, she didn’t just go to school full-time; she also collectively worked about 70 hours a week at a bookstore and at a movie theater, all the while commuting from Newark.

“I always put school as my number one priority. I had to be in school, and it just so happened that I had to pay for it myself. That realization pushed me through it,” she said.

crosley frankenberry portrait

German Expressionism and mid-century modern design are among the movements in art history that have captured her interest. And, said Frankenberry, “I think that’s a really cool thing that a lot of the professors do here. ... No matter what class you take, there is going to be something you’re interested in.”

In her time at CCAD, Frankenberry has found a renewed interest in film and film studies.

Last year, she had the opportunity to present a paper on Charles and Ray Eames, and how their design philosophy is expressed through their films, at the 7th Annual Riess Undergraduate Art History Colloquium.

“I never thought I would get chosen to present, and it was really inspiring to be there,” she said. “It helped me realize that this is something I want to do, and to continue with.”

Frankenberry, who will graduate this spring, now works 30 hours a week at Whole Foods and spends 10 hours a week interning at the Columbus Museum of Art. She plans on taking some time before heading to graduate school for film studies, with an eye toward continuing historical studies or practicing filmmaking herself.

“I really like editing. I think editing is the portion of filmmaking that women really take over, and I want to be part of that. I’m also into cinematography, production design, and all sorts of it,” she said. “There are a lot of options.”

Crosley Frankenberry (History of Art & Visual Culture, 2017) makes the most of every morning.

Every day, she drives 40 miles from her home in Newark to Columbus College of Art & Design’s Downtown campus, fueling up beforehand at the River Road Coffeehouse in nearby Granville (and then later at the Roosevelt Coffeehouse, by CCAD’s campus). “I’ve been forcing myself to be a morning person for years now, so if I have an 8 a.m., I usually get up at 5:45 a.m., if I can, and I try to get on the road and get my coffee by 6:30 a.m. or so. But I also often roll out of bed at 6:15 a.m. … I leave earlier than I need to in order to miss traffic — waiting in traffic makes me not a great person,” she said.

Time allowing, she tries to do some pre-class reading. “I hate to admit it, but I do read better and write better in the morning,” she said.

That said, “When I get to campus, I’m usually in a hurry ... so I typically head straight to class,” Frankenberry said. Once she’s on campus and not in class, she spends her day at the library (both CCAD’s own Packard Library, as well as the Main Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library), or in the Art History lounge in the Amelita Mirolo Fine Arts Building.

Tuesday and Thursday mornings see her interning at the Columbus Museum of Art; she also works at Whole Foods Easton about 35 hours a week. At the end of the day some evenings, Frankenberry heads back home to Newark and to boyfriend Zach Hoffman and Donnie Pawberg, a Chihuahua/corgi/Australian cattle dog mix; other days see her crashing with her older brother, Max, who lives in the University District.

Recently CCAD Student Agency photographer Annie Noelker tagged along with Frankenberry to check out a day in her life. Here are some of the highlights:

morning photo
crosley morning
crosley holding coffee
crosley drinking coffee
crosley driving
crosley standing
crosley reading book
crosley sitting circle couches
crosley looks at art
crosley portrait

Crosley Frankenberry's Top 5 Creative Influencers:

David Byrne, Talking Heads frontman, musician, artist, and writer | Facebook | Twitter

Rosalind Krauss, art critic, professor, and historian

Werner Herzog, film director (and subject of Frankenberry's thesis)

Kip Frankenberry, graphic designer, typographer, film buff, 1950's kitsch decor collector, curious person (and Crosley's dad)

Maggie Nelson, writer, professor, and art historian

Music to Create to: A Spotify Playlist from Crosley Frankenberry

portrait crosley

Crosley Frankenberry has an eye for a good flick. While she's changed her major to History of Art and Visual Culture (2017), the onetime Cinematic Arts major maintains a passion for film (her thesis is on one of the greats of cinema, Werner Herzog), and it's a love she plans on pursuing in graduate school.

Recently, we asked her to share five of her favorite movies — and she couldn't resist giving us one more. Check out her picks below.

Inherent Vice

inherent vice

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (my favorite director), Inherent Vice follows a stoned-out private detective through an intricate storyline set in the '70s. I find myself wanting to watch this movie every other week, just to soak in the incredible production design and screenwriting.

Mulholland Drive

mulholland drive still

This was the first movie by David Lynch that I had ever seen, and every time I rewatch it I am just as confused as the first time around, but it’s a good kind of confused. The cinematography of this Los Angeles mystery gives the entire film the greatest eerie feel.

2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey still

I first watched 2001: A Space Odyssey when I was about 6 years old; it was one of several movies my dad wanted me to experience a little bit too early. I had scenes from it stuck in my mind from that time on, and the set design and strange progression of time still make just as much impact on me now as they did when I first watched it.


bladerunner still

It took me years of rewatching this movie before realizing how often my mom quoted it while growing up. I was always drawn to the great level of production design for this movie as well, and it’s fun to see how the '80s predicted 2019, full of androids and hovering cop cars.

Paris, Texas

paris, texas still

Although it’s a pretty sobering movie, the cinematography and settings are too beautiful to not count as my favorite. Having lived in the Midwest my whole life, I’m really drawn to the desert landscape, and this film is full of scenes of wandering through the isolated landscapes of Texas.

Pineapple Express

pineapple express still

This is just a great movie that makes me laugh at every stupid joke every single time I watch it. I realized that I quote this movie at least once a week, so I figured I needed to include it.

Read more in our series CCAD Stories. Discover more about the CCAD Student Agency or learn more about CCAD's History of Art & Visual Culture program or apply here.